Shelby Co. Commission approves $5M for Crosstown project - | WBTV Charlotte

Shelby Co. Commission approves $5M for Crosstown project

(WMC-TV) - A Memphis neighborhood is on the verge of total transformation. The last piece of the puzzle came into place when the Shelby County Commission voted to redevelop the old Sears Crosstown building.

The 1.5 million square foot building is a monstrosity of disrepair. Most neighbors are relieved to hear it will be restored.

On Monday, Shelby County Commission voted to pay $5 million toward a $180 million redevelopment of the massive building.

"North Memphis, Klondike-Smokey City, the Evergreen Historic District, we've got Vollintine. Talk about smart growth. This is what smart growth is all about, enhancing the neighborhoods," said Shelby County Commissioner Melvin Burgess.

While most people like the idea...

"If it helps the neighborhood, it will be fantastic," said Micah Jobbins.

...Some say lawmakers are walking on thin ice dedicating $5 million in taxpayer dollars, combined with the $15 million that was approved by Memphis City Council in December.

"I think $20 million is okay to spend on this, but really most of the money we spend needs to be on school system," said Meghan Vaziri, who frequents the neighborhood.

The building will be converted into apartments, and office space for several area businesses, schools, hospitals and non-profits.

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